Question of the Month

Brandie RandolphQuestion: When I view a book with bad editing, is it the editor’s fault or the author’s? Hasn’t the author been taken advantage of by being given poorly edited work?

Answer: I have dealt with this issue with many times. Book clubs, Facebook and social media have made it very easy to call someone’s manuscript poorly edited because, suddenly, everyone is an expert on the subject. In last month’s article, I discussed the different types of editing. Those different types entail a different product that the author is paying for. Obviously, as you get into more detailed types of editing, prices increase. There are manuscripts that desperately need developmental editing, but the author does not wish to shell out the money to acquire said editing. They opt to go for the cheaper copyediting and are hurt in the end. All too often, the blame is placed on the editor from the client and readers when, in fact, the author just didn’t care enough to pay for what they really needed. I always say that authors need to invest in their work fully if they expect readers to pay for it. Don’t go the cheap route and have your readers paying for a sub-par product. If you can’t afford the needed editing, you aren’t ready to publish. Period. That being said, there ARE true cases where the editing was done poorly, needs to be redone, or one or both parties’ expectations were not cohesive. Give the editor and the author a chance to correct the problem and offer you their best product in the end. We are in this together and most are self-published authors. Offer constructive criticism that can be beneficial versus malicious judgment that helps no one, including the industry as whole, in the end.

Ask the editor today! 


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